After reading Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s by Sophie May, we felt that it might be helpful to provide a review and rating of the book. The storyline, religious content, possible social issues, school subjects and availability of various book formats and supplemental activities for the book were rated. As well, the recommended reading age and vocabulary were noted. The book was given a 3.5-Star Review.
How did we determine the rating? The following chart provides a very brief explanation of the information found in Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s and how each was rated.
|Rel||.5||Op vs cont||Prevalent||0|
|Soc||.5||Op vs cont||Drugs||0|
|Sub||.5||> 1 Sub||4 subs||.5|
|Formats||1.5||Bound, Ebook, Audio – .5 ea.||No audio||1|
|Activities||1||Dir .5 & Alt. .5 if avail.||3 topics||1|
For a more thorough explanation of the categories (above) that we have looked into, and to find out more about the book, we have gone into a bit more detail below.
Hopefully, we have laid out exactly what you will find inside its covers without giving everything away.
Plot & Storyline of Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s, by Sophie May
The plot and storyline section of this review was rated on if it was able to keep our attention and provide entertainment. Doing so would give Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s 1 full star.
Synopsis for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
This is the story of Alice Parlin, called Dotty, and the lessons she learns while staying at her grandmother’s house.
The book includes stories about being obedient, stealing, lying, and forgiveness. It also features a story about death.
Readers will learn about the weather and also poetry in this book, as well as social studies and good citizenship displayed by the characters.
It was written well and was a delightful book to read. Because of this, it received the full one-star credit.
Religion in Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
Since the exclusion and inclusion, of religion in student texts are such an important topic in the modern world, we decided to include this in our review for half a star in the rating.
To maintain the half-star the text must either be specifically about a religious subject or use religion as a descriptive part of the text without trying to deliberately sway the reader to any specific religion.
Religious Occurrences in the Book
There were quite a few occurrences of the Christian religion in Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s. The characters were depicted attending church and Bible passages are quoted and explained a few times throughout the book.
Chapter 1 mentions God making the world in the very first paragraph. The second paragraph describes the day as the Sabbath and mentions that the children were going to church, then describes Dotty at church and the Bible verse she is taught, “The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.”
In Chapter 4, the children return to church. Dotty talks about the Bible verse and other verses to her friend Jennie and preaches her belief about the passages to her friend. The entire chapter involves Dotty misunderstanding the verses and leading her friend to believe that her father can’t go to heaven because he is wealthy.
The conversation about Dotty’s friend’s father continues in Chapter 5 when Dotty explains that her grandmother said God would let Jennie’s father in heaven if He wanted to.
At the end of Chapter 7, Dotty tells her grandmother that she won’t be bad anymore and her grandmother tells her to ask her “heavenly Father to help” her do that.
Chapter 9 includes Miss Polly singing a “hymn” while going to sleep. This does not include the words to the hymn, but it was included here since hymns are religious songs.
A reference to preaching God’s “holding the whole world in his arms” is included in Chapter 10. It also includes two lines from a hymn. Then, the book explains that Dotty prayed “over and over” and thanked God that the world had not ended.
Chapter 12 has many references to heaven and dying and going to heaven. One such occurrence includes a reference to “the Saviour.” It also discusses Dotty’s opinion that dogs did not go to heaven because they didn’t have souls.
While it could be argued that Christianity in this book was merely a description of how characters would have believed in the time period and setting, it is very prevalent.
Due to this, the star rating concerning religion was reduced by half a star. The book could have achieved the same outcome without the religious inclusions, and it renders the book less helpful to people of different faiths.
*Please note that reading this book with your student and discussing the religion in it could overcome this obstacle if the student has differing beliefs.
Social Issues in Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
This section in the star rating was worth half a star and concerned any content that might be considered sensitive or offensive to modern society.
If the social issues found were that of the author’s own opinion, a deduction was made. When the issue described the mindset and culture of the characters for the time period in the story, the rating was not deducted.
Furthermore, deductions were fractioned depending on the number of issues found.
Social Issues Found in the Book
Due to the topics in this story, as well as the time period in which it was written, Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s had a few occurrences that might be considered “socially unacceptable” in the modern world.
Some were merely strong content, while others were more politically incorrect. The evidence below should help you navigate these more sensitive topics.
Occurrences of Social Issues
Chapter 2 includes the depiction of gossip being spread. This continues in Chapter 3. These chapters also include a story about Dotty and Katie stealing.
Chapter 10 refers to Miss Polly “taking snuff” which is a tobacco product. It also describes beer, which is kept in the house, and Abner encouraging Polly to drink some to make her feel better.
Then, in Chapter 11, the story about the beer is retold to other characters in the book. This chapter also describes the cat eating the ducklings, which may be considered strong content for sensitive readers.
Chapter 12 describes the illness and subsequent death of a character named Charlie. It also discusses a dog that had died and Dotty’s opinion that it had no soul; a viewpoint that is debated in the modern era.
It is my opinion that most of the social issues contained in this book serve as mere descriptions of the way people would have spoken and acted for the setting of the book. For this reason, no stars were deducted for the above issues.
However, the drawbacks to these topics, if there are any, might be the inclusion of a character using tobacco and being encouraged to drink beer. Also, the assumption that dogs do not have souls.
These topics coupled with the fact that many readers will be young and easily influenced makes the book questionable. For this, half a star in the review rating was deducted.
Suggested Age and Reading Level for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
This section did not have any effect on the star rating for this book review. However, we felt that it is important to know before reading the book and before moving on to the next section of this review.
Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s is suitable for Children and Elementary level readers.
This means that it can be read from approximately 1st grade into adulthood, or at around 6 years of age; depending on the child’s ability and maturity.
Subjects Covered by Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
The number of School Subjects covered by the book counted as half a star in the rating. To maintain this half star, the book merely had to cover more than one subject.
We found four subjects which might be covered while reading Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s. These are Literature, Social Studies/Good Citizenship, Earth Science, and Language Arts/Poetry.
Below is an account of the Good Citizenship, Earth Science, and Poetry in the book.
Social Studies and Good Citizenship
There are many parts throughout the book that could be considered part of Good Citizenship; however, reading the book through Chapter 7 offers a very good lesson on obedience and forgiveness.
When Dotty acts in a way that she knows her grandmother will find unacceptable, she finds that she must confess and apologize. Then, her grandmother tells her something about how she might be forgiven.
Chapter 6 includes a discussion about lightning and how trees are conductors of electricity. The same chapter discusses bogs and how people can get stuck in them.
In Chapter 9 is a description of hail and rainbows.
Language Arts and Poetry
Chapter 2 includes a bit of poetry in which Abner sings to Katie. And then Chapter 6 is all about Poetry. The chapter is, in fact, called Making Poetry.
Chapter 6 begins with Prudy telling Dotty a “conundrum” also called a riddle. It then goes into Prudy making poetry and explaining how to rhyme to Dotty.
There is also a bit of poetry in Chapter 9 about hail and two lines of a hymn in Chapter 10 which could be counted as poetry.
Vocabulary and Spelling Opportunities
While vocab and spelling had no bearing on the star rating, it was worth mentioning since the vocabulary used in Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s was a bit advanced.
Most modern books written today for Elementary students seem negligent when compared with the language in this book.
However, I was able to read and understand the book well. If a younger person were to read this book and find it harder to read than I, a dictionary would serve them well.
Keeping this in mind, approximately 120 words were noted by The MiniMize Life as worthy of being studied further in vocabulary and spelling. However, some of these words may have already been covered in our booklist before reading this book.
The vocabulary used in this book should stretch the modern reader’s understanding.
Availability of Book Formats
The availability of books considered three formats; ebooks, audiobooks, and physical or bound books. These were each worth half a star. This means that one and a half stars could be effected in this section.
Likewise, ebooks and audiobooks were broken into the two subcategories of free books and those for purchase.
Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s, by Sophie May, is available in two formats; meaning a half star was lost in this section. You may find links to available formats on the resource page mentioned at the bottom of this post.
Many ebook sources for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s are available for download; both free and for purchase. Depending on your personal preference, any of the following would suffice.
It is available for purchase on Kindle, or the free e-book can be found at Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Google Books.
There were no audiobooks available for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s. While The MiniMize Life plans to read and record this book in the future, the project has yet to be completed.
For this, a half of a point was taken.
Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s is available for purchase in both paperback and hardbound copies on Amazon. As well, a few different editions of the book are available.
Normally, physical books are not available for free, except in a library, which I am unable to gauge. Therefore, free copies were not included in the rating for bound books.
Be aware that some of the books you can buy are reprints and may have poor formatting. Caution must be taken to research reviews of each.
We have recommended a used, first edition of the book. You can purchase a copy by clicking the link at the top of this post.
Availability of Supplemental Resources
Supplemental activities were gauged in two parts; activities directly related to the book worth half a star and alternative activities related to the book topics worth another half star.
Furthermore, alternative activity ratings could be reduced to fractions depending on how many topics needed an activity. For this book, there were three topics; Earth Science, Poetry, and Good Citizenship.
Direct Activities for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
There were no existing activities or worksheets found which were directly related to this book.
Half a star would be taken from the review rating for this. However, The MiniMize Life has rectified the situation and made worksheets available for this book.
Therefore, no changes were made to the star rating.
You may find this activity by visiting the resource page listed below.
Alternative Activities for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s
We were able to find many alternative activities to accompany all of the topics and additional subjects in this book. This means that the subjects can be expanded for further learning opportunities.
Because of this, the rating was not affected by this section.
More About Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s, by Sophie May
In an effort to make Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s more user-friendly in a homeschool environment, The MiniMize Life has done a bit more work and research.
Besides including it in our Homeschool Elementary Booklist with instructions on how to use the book; The MiniMize Life has created worksheets directly related to this book.
We have also provided more information including links to where to find it and resources on its topics.
Links to all of these may be located on our resource page for Dotty Dimple at Her Grandmother’s by Sophie May.
Have you read Dotty Dimple at her Grandmother’s? Tell us what you thought in the comments below.